Who Is Eligible For The Social Security Debit Card
Anyone who receives Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits is eligible to use this card.
Because its a prepaid debit card, you can only use your Direct Express Social Security debit card if you have funds in your account. Once youve spent or withdrawn your entire account balance, youll have to wait for your next monthly disbursement to use your card again.
You cannot deposit personal funds onto the card. You must open a separate bank or prepaid card to deposit personal funds.
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.
Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary
You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.
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Applying For A Social Security Card
The purpose of a Social Security Number is to help the government track of an individual’s earnings in the U.S. for tax purposes. Once you are offered a job, you will need to apply for a SSN from the Social Security Administration . Eligibility for an SSN is based on the offer of paid employment, and regulations require you to provide valid employment offer letter and authorization from Visa & Immigration Services or USCIS to apply for a SSN. You must apply for an SSN in person at a local Social Security office. Provide originals and copies of the following documents to verify your age, identity, immigration status, and employment eligibility:
|Documents Required for SSN Application||On-Campus|
|SSN Authorization Letter from VIS||X|
|Employment Authorization Document|
SSN Authorization for On-Campus Employment:
Directions to the Social Security Office from Stony Brook University:
What To Do If Youve Never Had A Social Security Card Or Number
Naturally, if youre becoming a U.S. citizen, you will not have had a Social Security number or card before. This means that you will need to provide slightly different documents to acquire a Social Security number and card, though you can still use the same application forms and processes. In addition to the documents listed above , you will need to show proof of your right to live and work in the United States. These documents can include:
- Document issued by DHS, including Form I-551, I-94, or I-766
- Form I-20, DS-2019, or an authorizing letter from your school or employer
- Documents from a federal, state, or local government agency explaining the reasons why you need a Social Security number and card
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How Social Security Numbers Work
With very few exceptions, all U.S. legal residents have a Social Security number. Even non-working residents will have an SSN because of how useful it is to businesses and government entities. The legal framework for assigning a Social Security number is provided under Section 205 of the Social Security Act . Social Security numbers and cards are issued by the Social Security Administration .
Social Security numbers are now random streams of digits, but prior to 2011, they were not. At that time, the first three digits represented the area in which the individual was born or was from. The next pair of numbers was originally slated to represent a year or month of birth. Because they worried about this being falsified, the Social Security Administration instead voted to have it represent a group number. Thus far, no Social Security Numbers have been reused, though there have been some cases in which two people were issued the same number.
Social Security: How To Track Down Your Benefits Statement
Because of a cost-saving measure, most people must now make an extra effort to learn how big their Social Security checks will be
Have you noticed that the Social Security Administration has stopped mailing its annual statement outlining your estimated monthly Social Security benefits and your earnings history?
Turns out, the agency stopped sending out those paper statements in April 2011 to save $70 million a year on printing and postage.
A New Way to Get Social Security Statements
In early May, however, the SSA began letting everyone over 18 obtain their estimated benefits and earnings records at its website, socialsecurity.gov. So if you’re under 60, this information is only available online.
That means its now up to you to hunt down these key figures. You should do so every year to help estimate your eventual retirement income. The SSA wont remind you, so make a point of doing this on your birthday and consider it a retirement gift to yourself.
How the Statements Affect Your Plans
Seeing these numbers has a powerful effect on retirement planning. a columnist at Reuters, recently cited a Social Security Advisory Board survey, noting that more than half of those who read their Social Security statement said they increased their savings rate or revised their financial plans as a result.
The Verification Procedure
It only took about 10 minutes to get my report which is identical to the old paper version and the process wasnt especially difficult.
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Can I Change To An Ssc Valid For Employment Later
Some Social Security Cards issued with US visas are not valid for employment. If you are granted a valid US work visa from USCIS, you will have to apply for a new Social Security Card which is not marked with “not valid for employment”. The number on your old card will remain the same, however, as it is valid your entire life.
What Is The Social Security Number
The 9-digit Social Security number is one of the last surviving vestiges of Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal. In its origins, the SSN was used to track a persons earnings and determine benefits. But now, years later, it can be used for a wide variety of financial transactions, including opening a new bank account, tracking taxes, making large purchases, and building credit history.
Social Security is not just for retirees, and others may qualify as well. In fact, according to the Social Security Administrations Understanding the Benefits packet, Social Security provides more funding to children than any other federal agency.
Can I Get An Ssn Even If I Dont Have Permission To Work
In general, no, you cannot get an SSN unless you are authorized to work in the United States. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you need an SSN to receive federal or state benefits, for which you are eligible, you may be able to obtain a card as long as you can provide a letter from the relevant agency. The letter must contain the following:
- Your name and designation as an applicant
- Agency contact information, including your name and phone number
- A reference to the statute requiring the applicant to obtain an SSN
- Confirmation that the SSN is the only missing requirement for the stated benefit
Checking Your Credit Score
The most common way to catch unauthorized activity is by checking your credit information. If an account appears that you did not initiate, someone is using your Social Security number.
You can check your credit score using a third-party service like or check with your credit card company to see if they have such a feature.
If youre applying for a new line of credit and get turned down, this could mean that there are fraudulent accounts or activities that are affecting your credit score.
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Find Out If Your Tax Return Was Submitted
You can file your tax return by mail, through an e-filing website or software, or by using the services of a tax preparer. Whether you owe taxes or youre expecting a refund, you can find out your tax returns status by:
Looking for emails or status updates from your e-filing website or software
If you file your taxes by mail, you can track your tax return and get a confirmation when the IRS has received it. To do so, use USPS Certified Mail or another mail service that has tracking or delivery confirmation services.
How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card
To get a Social Security replacement card, visit the SSAs My Social Security account website. Youll be taken through the steps of requesting a replacement card. Keep in mind that you can use this online site to request a replacement card if you:
To apply for a replacement Social Security card, either online or via mail, you’ll need one acceptable personal identification document. By and large, your birth certificate will suffice, although the SSA will also accept the following proof of identity:
- A U.S. hospital record of your birth.
- A religious record indicating your date of birth .
- A current valid U.S. passport.
- A final adoption decree .
There are several exceptions if you cant get the needed identification documents, or dont have them at all. The SSA will accept other forms of identification that show your legal name and biographical data. Acceptable options include a U.S. military I.D. card, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, employee identity card, a certified copy of a medical record , a health insurance card, Medicaid card, or school identity card.
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Check Your Credit Report
The Social Security Administration can tell you if someone is working on your SSN and the IRS can tell you if someone is filing taxes on it, but only your credit agencies can tell you if someone is using your SSN to acquire and use credit in your name.
There are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They each have slightly different methodologies and scoring programs, but they all more or less provide the same service.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months . By contacting each service and requesting your report, you can immediately spot any suspicious activity on your credit accounts. Look for credit card applications, loan applications, and any debt you dont recognize.
Requesting your reports is simple:
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 transunion.com
is a reputable service, and if you sign up for it you can keep a monthly eye on your credit score and your credit history, making it very difficult for an identity thief to put one over you in the long run.
How To Sign Up For A Social Security Debit Card
You can sign up for the card at your local Social Security office or by calling the Direct Express card enrollment center at 333-1795. Representatives of payees can sign up the same way.
Once you sign up, your Social Security benefits will be paid directly to your Direct Express card account for you to access each month.
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How Does It Work
The federal benefits are paid directly to your card on your monthly payment date. You wont have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail. If you have another bank account, you can transfer the funds to it, but you’ll pay a $1.50 fee for each transfer to a U.S. bank account. If you already have a bank account with a debit card, enrolling in direct deposit may a better option.
Your card comes with a personal identification number that you use to authorize transactions or withdrawals. You can also have your transactions processed as “credit” rather than “debit,” which means you sign for purchases instead, as you would with a credit card. The funds are still deducted from your balance, even when you choose the credit option.
Purchases, withdrawals, and transaction fees are deducted from your balance. Once youve spent all of the funds on the card, youll be unable to use it until you receive your next months benefits.
You can be assured that your money is safe: the funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to the legal limit.
Preventing Losses And Fraudulent Activity
It’s important to protect your Social Security debit card like you would any other credit or debit card or even your cash.
Keep your PIN safe, and don’t share it with others. If your Direct Express card is lost or stolen, you should report your missing card immediately by calling the customer service number on the back of the card, so it is wise to copy that number and keep it separate. Direct Express will replace your card so you can continue to access your account. The first replacement card each calendar year is free after that, theres a $4 fee to replace a missing card. Your replacement card should arrive in the mail within seven to 10 days.
You can have a replacement card expedited by request. The fee for this service is $13.50.
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Someone May Be Using Your Ssn
People can use your Social Security Number to access bank accounts, open new accounts, and more. If this is happening it may go undetected.
A lot of times there are indications that something is amiss. These are the top five signs your information has been compromised.
How To Check Your Refund Status
You can to check on the status of your refund. However, IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time. Wait times to speak with a representative can be long. But you can avoid the wait by using the automated phone system. Follow the message prompts when you call.
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Limitations Of The Social Security Debit Card
While you can use the Direct Express Social Security debit card for the majority of your purchases, there are some limitations. You can use your card for online purchases as long as the retailer accepts MasterCard debit as a payment method. To use your card for gas purchases, you must pay the clerk inside the gas station you cannot pay at the pump. If you use your Direct Express card to rent a car, the car rental agency will place an authorization hold on up to $500 of your funds. The authorization hold will be released when you return the rental car, but the money might not get back to your account for up to two weeks. In addition, the car rental agency may request additional documentation because you’re not using a credit card.
Depending on the merchant, you may experience a “hold” or block on your account when renting a car or reserving a hotel room. Companies place these holds in order to decrease their risk. Speak to the rental agent or clerk when paying, to find out when the block will be removed .
Contacting The Ssa By Telephone
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